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Not only is the über high-end real estate market exhibiting solid signs of life on the West Coast, it seems that things are really heating up in New York City as well.

In late March 2011 Russian composer Igor Krutoy splashed out a record-breaking $48,000,000 for a combination condo at the Plaza. It seems inconceivable to Your Mama that a composer could afford a forty-eight million dollar pied-a-terre but apparently this one can.

Last week word slipped down the real estate gossip grapevine that famously peripatetic Band-Aid heiress Libet Johnson paid a heart-stopping $48,000,000 for the old Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt mansion on East 69th Street. The 5-floor and 33-foot wide neo-Georgian mansion was sold by “network marketing” magnate Roger Barnett and heiress-socialite-authoress Sloan Lindemann Barnett. Missus Barnett, high-society watchers know, is the pampered daughter of billionaire George Lindemann who made his colossal fortune in contact lenses, mobile phone technologies and natural gas.

The Lindeman-Barnett bought the townhouse in 2001 for $11,500,000 and had the 12,000-plus square foot townhouse worked over by architect Peter Marino. Interior spaces reportedly include a grand foyer, vast family kitchen (plus a staff kitchen), parlor level living and dining rooms, a super-luxe master suite that encompasses the entire third floor and two additional floors of family and guest bedrooms.

The couple first attempted to sell the townhouse back in 2007 when it was quietly listed with a stomach-churning and optimistic $62,000,000 price tag. One report from the time states that the LindemannBarnetts turned down an offer in the mid-fifty million dollar range, a decision that probably stings just a little even though they have to be beside themselves with monetary glee with the forty-eight million that Miz Johnson coughed up.

Earlier in the month Miz Johnson put her 4 bedroom and 5.5 pooper penthouse–plus staff room and bath–with its wall to wall tiger-striped carpeting at the Trump International Hotel and Tower on the market with an asking price of $24,000,000.

While Miz Johnson’s $48,000,000 acquisition boggles the mind, it is not by far the highest price ever paid for a New York City townhouse. That place on the real estate pedestal goes to financier J. Christopher Flowers who paid an unimaginable $53,000,000 for a the 50-foot wide Harkness Mansion East 75th Street townhouse in 2006. Mister Flowers, recently split from his wife, reportedly has his titanic townhouse listed off-market with a price tag of around $40,000,000.

This week word on the New York City real estate street is that Courtney Sale Ross–the wildly wealthy widow of former Time Warner head honcho Steve Ross–has once again hoisted her pair of adjoining apartments at the exceedingly high-nosed 740 Park Avenue on the market separately at 25 and 35 million clams or together for $60,000,000.

The two apartments, accessible to each other but not fully combined, have more than 30 rooms over two floors of the limestone-clad icon where other residents include fashion maven Vera Wang, Greek shipping tycoon Spyros Niarchos, Blackstone Group kingpin Stephen Schwarzman, hotel and real estate power couple Kent and Elizabeth Swig, Tea Party funding multi-billionaire David Koch and various other financial services fat cats, big bidness billionaires and several heirs and heiresses to vast fortunes.

The Texas-born Miz Ross unsuccessfully attempted to sell her massive duplex digs at 740 Park in 2008 when she reportedly had it shopped around off-market with an asking price of sixty million clams.

Miz Ross, who appears to be in the mood to downsize, splashed out $7,300,000 in August 2010 for a comparatively tiny 2,758 square foot condo in TriBeCa with just six rooms and a 500-ish square foot private terrace.